Create a Geometric Focal Wall With Trim

A bold paint color and simple molding turn a bare wall into a stunning, graphic focal point.
Purple Wall with White Wainscoting

Purple Wall with White Wainscoting

White wainscoting adds dimension and texture to the purple walls in this contemporary living room, further brightened up by orange accents that give the room a playful feel.

Materials Needed:

  • graph paper
  • pencil
  • 1X2 primed MDF trim
  • semi-gloss paint
  • spackle
  • spackle knife
  • caulk
  • caulk gun
  • circular saw
  • hammer
  • nail punch
  • nail gun
  • nails
  • finishing nails
  • painter's tape
  • liquid bonding adhesive

Measure Wall

Use tape measure to determine the proper height and width of wall.

Measure Wall

Measure Wall

Use tape measure to determine the proper height and width of wall.

Jot Down Dimensions

Write your wall dimensions down on the graph paper.

Jot Down Dimensions

Jot Down Dimensions

Write your wall dimensions down on the graph paper before you begin your project.

Create Design

Referring to the dimensions, create an original design on graph paper using pencil. Note: This will vary depending on the size of your wall. In the video how-to, the five vertical pieces of trim are 21 inches apart, with the horizontal pieces starting either 10 inches or 21 inches from the ceiling.

Create Your Design

Create Your Design

Referring to the dimensions, create an original design on graph paper using pencil. Note: This will vary depending on the size of your wall. In the video how-to, the five vertical pieces of trim are 21 inches apart with the horizontal pieces starting either 10 inches or 21 inches from the ceiling.

Find and Mark Center Point of Wall

Using tape measure, pencil and a piece of painter’s tape, mark center point of wall along top and bottom. These marks will be your guide for installing the first two pieces of trim, each evenly spaced to the left and the right of the center mark.

Find and Mark Center Point of Wall

Find and Mark Center Point of Wall

Using tape measure, pencil and a piece of painter’s tape, mark center point of wall along top and bottom. These marks will be your guide for installing the first two pieces of trim, each evenly spaced to the left and the right of the center mark.

Cut Two Center Pieces of Vertical Trim

Referring to measurements on graph paper, cut two pieces of vertical trim with circular saw.

Cut Two Center Pieces of Vertical Trim

Cut Two Center Pieces of Vertical Trim

Referring to measurements on graph paper, cut two pieces of vertical trim with circular saw.

Position Two Center Pieces of Vertical Trim

Referring to pencil marks on painter’s tape, place first two pieces of vertical trim in their proper positions.

Position Center Pieces of Vertical Trim

Position Center Pieces of Vertical Trim

Referring to pencil marks on painter’s tape, place first two pieces of vertical trim in their proper positions.

Attach Two Center Pieces of Vertical Trim

With each of the two center pieces of vertical trim in their proper position, add a bead of liquid bonding adhesive to the back, press into place, then securely fasten with finishing nails.

Tip: To sink finishing nails, tap each nail with nail punch until each nail sits slightly below the surface of the trim.

Install Remaining Pieces of Vertical Trim

Repeat these steps for all pieces of vertical trim.

Install Remaining Pieces of Vertical Trim

Install Remaining Pieces of Vertical Trim

Repeat these steps for all pieces of vertical trim.

Cut Horizontal Trim Pieces

Referring to measurements on graph paper, measure, mark, then cut each piece of horizontal trim with circular saw.

Cut Horizontal Trim Pieces

Cut Horizontal Trim Pieces

Referring to measurements on graph paper, measure, mark, then cut each piece of horizontal trim with circular saw.

Install Horizontal Trim Pieces

Referring to dimensions on graph paper, place each horizontal piece of trim in proper position, then secure into place with hammer and finishing nails.

Install Horizontal Trim Pieces

Install Horizontal Trim Pieces

Referring to dimensions on graph paper, place each horizontal piece of trim in proper position, then secure into place with hammer and finishing nails.

Spackle, Sand, Caulk and Paint

Once all vertical and horizontal pieces of trim are installed, add spackle to holes, smooth out with spackle knife, caulk edges, then paint with paint brush.

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